If you are interested in the Western Blue-Tongued Skink, this quick guide will tell you what you need to know the most.
The Western Blue-Tongued Skink is most likely the rarest blue-tongue in the pet world, next to of course the Pygmy Adelaide.
The are also known as the Western Blue-Tongued Lizard, and just as their name suggests, they are native to Western Australia, specifically the southern portions.
The Western skink is one of the larger blueys in the world, reaching lengths of up to 45 cm (around 18 inches), and it is usually quite easy to distinguish from Northerns, Indonesians are other types of skinks.
Like the Northern Blue-Tongue, the anterior legs of these skinks are not patterned and are usually a solid color, however the main difference lies in their coloring.
Western Blue-Tongues will have thick black streaks on either side of their head, covering their eyes and usually reaching their snout.
They are also almost always a shade of orange, with up to 6 broad, darkish bands that run up and down their entire body. Their tails are short, and they are often quite slender.
Like the other skinks, Westerns are diurnal (active during the day) and prefer to live in dry, arid habitats that are populated with shrubs, bushes and woodland areas. This is because although they prefer the hot climate, they are terrestrial creatures that need as much shelter as they can get, to escape from predators and maintain cover.
If they aren’t basking in the sunshine (often on paved roads) or under shelter for the night, they can be found foraging through shrubs and tall grasses, seeking out insects, spiders, plants and flowers to munch on. As is common for skinks, they especially love to eat snails.
They give birth to litters of 4 to 5, and can live over 20 years in captivity.
That being said, Westerns are probably the least common species in captivity (outside of Pygmies), as they are not commonly held as pets in Australia, and are basically non-existent in places like North America (where the Northern and Indonesian are much more popular).
Threats to the Western bluey include things such as feral foxes, dogs and cats, but most importantly agricultural farming and habitat clearing. Ploughing, especially as the Western Blue-Tongued Skink will often take shelter in abandoned rabbit burrows.
Although they are incredibly rare to see, they are not a threatened species, and are listed as having a stable population by the Australian government.
If you are interested in owning or purchasing a Western and live outside of Australia, it’s going to be difficult. I don’t personally know of anyone who breeds them, so you’ll have to ask around.
As always, the best place to inquire would be with reputable breeders, which you can find in the links below. Join both groups and ask around, and you may get lucky.